There’s no better way to make the day bright and cheery than with some Sunshine Squares! Vibrant, bold, tart, and sweet, each one of these little treats is bursting with radiant lemon flavor! The crust beneath is buttery, rich, and crumbly; the perfect shortbread base to make sure the gorgeous, summery lemon stays front and center! Sunshine Squares are a golden moment and a celebration in dessert-form!


For the shortbread:

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled

For the lemon filling:

  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 cup lemon juice (about 4 lemons)
  • confectioners’ sugar, optional, to taste, for serving


Step 1 –Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Step 2 –Line the bottom and sides of a 9×13-inch glass baking pan with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on the sides to lift the bars out.

Step 3 –In a medium bowl, add the melted butter, 1/2 cup of the sugar, the vanilla, and the salt and mix to combine.

Step 4 –Add 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons of the flour to the butter mixture and stir until completely combined into a dough.

Step 5 –Press the dough firmly into the prepared pan, making sure the layer is smooth and even.

Step 6 –Bake until the edges of the crust are lightly browned, about 20-22 minutes.

Step 7 –Transfer the crust from the oven and use a fork to poke holes all over the top of the warm crust, but not all the way through the crust.

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Step 8 –In a large bowl, sift the remaining sugar and the remaining flour together.

Step 9 –Add the eggs to the sugar-flour mixture and whisk to combine.

Step 10 –Add the lemon juice to the egg mixture and whisk to combine.

Step 11 –Pour the lemon filling mixture over the warm crust.

Step 12 –Bake the bars until the center is relatively set and no longer jiggles, about 22-26 minutes.

Step 13 –Transfer the baking dish from the oven and allow the bars to cool completely.

Step 14 –Once cool, lift the parchment paper out of the pan to transfer the bars.

Step 15 –Dust the bars with the confectioners’ sugar.

Step 16 –Cut into squares and serve.